The Master of Divinity emphasizes the integration of theological learning with the skills needed to address the complex issues encountered in the practice of ministry. The goals of the program are: a deeper faith in Jesus Christ and the development of a spirituality that will sustain a life in ministry; competence in the interpretation of the Bible; a critical knowledge of the Christian tradition and abilities to help the church shape its future in light of that tradition; skills to lead the church in mission within a rapidly changing and diverse cultural context; competence to practice day-to-day ministry with integrity. The cohort format emphasizes communal learning and extended experiences of field work.
The cohort program involves six week-long residencies over the course of two years, complemented by online studies prior and following each learning engagement. One residency serves as a spiritual formation retreat. Another is an experiential travel course focused on contemporary social justice issues. The remaining four are hosted on the Lipscomb campus.
Students who do not possess an undergraduate degree in Bible or theology may need to spend an additional year taking “Foundations” coursework. These classes will need to be completed before a student can join a cohort. Each cohort then remains together throughout the remaining two years of the program.